Author from Italy joins pupils for workshop

Children from the morning group working together on a drawing. Photo by Derek Martin DM1712755a
Children from the morning group working together on a drawing. Photo by Derek Martin DM1712755a

Italian author Rosa Tiziana Bruno has made a special visit to Littlehampton for a unique workshop exploring children’s literature from around the world.

Rosa is a writer and sociologist and as well as her children’s books, she writes for educational journals about the use of fairy tales in schools.

Author Rosa Tiziana Bruno, right, reading her book with translater Denise Muir and some of the children. Photo by Derek Martin DM1712750a

Author Rosa Tiziana Bruno, right, reading her book with translater Denise Muir and some of the children. Photo by Derek Martin DM1712750a

Children from the Special Support Centre for deaf children joined hearing pupils at River Beach Primary School for a day of activities, organised by the charity Outside In World.

Littlehampton mayor Ian Buckland went along yesterday morning to see the innovative ideas used to introduce children to books from other countries.

He met Rosa, author of La Pasticceria Zitti, and English translator Denise Muir before tasting biscuits made by the children as part of the workshop.

Deborah Hallford, co-founder and manager of Outside In World, said the workshop was part of the charity’s Reading the Way2 project, funded by Arts Council England.

Author Rosa Tiziana Bruno, left, Mayor Ian Buckland, Outside In World manager Deborah Hallford and translater Denise Muir. Photo by Derek MartinDM1712760a

Author Rosa Tiziana Bruno, left, Mayor Ian Buckland, Outside In World manager Deborah Hallford and translater Denise Muir. Photo by Derek MartinDM1712760a

She explained: “Outside In World is an organisation dedicated to celebrating and exploring children’s literature from around the world, particularly books in translation.

“Reading the Way is a research and development project involving identifying particularly inclusive or accessible books from around the world and exploring them with the help of children and other experts.”

The focus was Rosa’s picture book, which translates as Zitti’s Cakeshop, and the aim was to offer both deaf and hearing children the unique chance to explore it together in the company of the author.

La Pasticceria Zitti was one of the books selected for the first Reading the Way project in 2014/15. It had been translated into many other languages but not English, so Outside In World had it translated from Italian in English for the project.

The charity was set up in 2007 and previously, Deborah had worked for the charity Booktrust for more than 15 years, which included being head of children’s literature.

She said: “The children from the Special Support Centre were divided into two groups of mixed age ability and language skills, so they were able to help each other and also work with children they may not see much of at other times.

“The idea was that they choose a friend from class so there will be twelve in each group, morning and afternoon.

“In the morning session, the children, aged seven to ten years, baked biscuits. The afternoon session had children aged five to seven and they made cupcakes.”

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